WP prepare to face Currie Cup giant killers Griquas

Although Griquas are a fearsome Currie Cup side in their own backyard, the Kimberley outfit have shown of late that they can also be giant-killers away from home.

The team will run out against Currie Cup log-leaders Western Province at Newlands on Saturday on the back of consecutive wins over the Pumas (home) and last season’s champions, the Sharks (away).

Closely coupled to these back-to-back wins was fullback Gouws Prinsloo, who has emerged as the biggest match-winner currently in the competition.

His prolific boot produced 18 points in Griquas’ 21-18 win over the Sharks, and last week 26 points in the 31-27 victory over the Pumas.

Province coach Allister Coetzee said Griquas’ lowly log position belied their ability to beat higher-placed teams.

“We never disrespect any side. Griquas can beat any side on the day, irrespective of log position, and that’s how we have planned for this match,” Coetzee said.

“The competition is so close that if you are not well coached, not prepared and your attitude isn’t right, you will be in for a long day. Despite the weather, we are well prepared for Griquas.”

Coetzee said his team had put in plenty of work in identifying where Griquas posed the biggest threat.

“They are a side that loves running the ball and disrupting defences. They feed off turnover ball, so we need to be very accurate and good at our set-pieces. We need to execute our plan very well by being tidy and accurate.”

Last week Province surrendered their unbeaten record after the 35-33 loss to the Lions in Johannesburg.

Coetzee feels the return to Newlands would be a factor in the quest to “get back on the horse” and cement the Cape side’s standing as log-leaders.

“We’re excited to be back at home. We need to understand that kicking at Newlands is different to the Highveld, in terms of distance.

“They have a kicking game, like every other side does, but our back three are ready to punish them if they kick poorly against us.”

Captain Juan De Jongh feels last week’s defeat would inspire his team to return to winning ways.

“It’s important to come back this week. We lacked concentration and attitude for 60 minutes which heavily cost us. Hopefully, we can learn from that defeat as we progress as a young team,” De Jongh said.

Griquas coach Hawies Fourie, has moulded his charges into a feared opposition and pleased with the role of Gouws, who has kept the scoreboard ticking over for his side.

“Gouws once again showed what a big influence a good kicker has on the outcome of a game. He kicked really well and we are very proud to have him in our setup,” Fourie said.

The Griquas mentor would be looking for improved performances at set-piece and breakdown time.

“We still are not happy with our own line-outs. We give away too much possession on our own throws.

“We also need to be better in our counter-attacks. We had a couple of turnovers against the Pumas, but we couldn’t capitalise on them.”

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